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Thread: A band on tour

  1. Default A band on tour

    Hi guys!

    Just stumbled upon this forum and thought that it looks like something that could become a very valuable resource!

    I'm from a UK based band, and this summer we will be heading to America for 2 months, from June 24 - August 24 as part of the Vans Warped Tour.

    We will be travelling the country in a 15 passenger van (Which is proving to be a bloody nightmare to hire due to us being 21!) which is also what we will be sleeping in!

    I've estimated we will be travelling 20,000 miles in total, so it's going to be an intense road trip!

    I look forward to throwing many questions your way, as i'm far from experienced with this!!

    Wish me luck :)

    Stay Free

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default tight quarters

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, how many people are in your group? I've played in a band that did some touring, and I always enjoyed being out on the road as part of it, however, I think your plan to sleep in the van could be quite problematic. Presumably, you're going to have all of your gear in your van, which is going to take up a lot of space. That's not going to leave much room leftover to lay out and sleep. I would recommend looking into camping or saving up some more money for motels so you can get some real sleep more often, and save the nights crashing in the van for the occational night.

    For my own curiousity, what sort of visa hurdles did you have to overcome to visit the US as a performer?

  3. Default

    It's a bit of an odd touring situation really.

    We're touring as part of the Warped Tour, but for the majority of the tour we're helping with the crew, which means we aren't guaranteed slots, so we will be over on holiday visas rather than artist visas which is where the problems would be.

    That also goes with the van.. there is 4 of us travelling, and we only have a small amount of equipment (guitars and promo merch etc) as the rest of the backline is all on the tour already, so with a 15 seater van, we'll have a fair amount of room and a few seats each to try and make some sort of sleeping arrangement. And we will be doing Motels here n there for showers and to get a bed, but for a lot of the tour it's not practical as we need to be travelling through parts of the night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default legal dangers

    I would really make sure about your visa situation. If you are on a tourist visa/visa waiver program you are not allowed to make any money during your trip, and presumably you're going to get paid at least something for your performance, and you're also planning to sell things. Both of these things would put you in violation of your visa, when customs sees you coming through with guitars and t-shirts, I'd say there is a very high likelihood that they'd turn you right back around on the next flight, at your expense, along with a notice that you're banned from attempting to enter the US for the next decade.

    This isn't something that you should make assumptions about, you need to contact customs and immigration. Find out exactly what you need to do this trip legally, so you do end up making a very big and expensive mistake.

  5. Default

    Cheers for your advice Michael, and it's something I've looked into, and still have some more research to do.

    Sadly, (although it helps the visa situation) we are getting paid a grand sum of nothing to be doing this tour, as we've been given the opportunity to be on the tour as a favour, part of our arrangement with the tour is that we do not get paid, and also that we are not allowed to sell merch on the tour, anything we have is promotional only, and we use a US based printing company anyway, so we will be collecting our instruments and promo stuff when we have arrived in the country.

    Obviously the last thing I want to happen, is for us to get turned away, and I don't want to be pissing ANYONE at US cutoms off! So I have carefully looked at this, and like I say, still have things to look over, and if it results in getting artist visas (Which I'm prepared for) then so be it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default in writing

    Well, if that is the case, you should be in a better situation. However, I would try to get a letter from the tour promoter explicitly saying that you will not be paid nor will you be allowed to sell anything on the tour, and I'd make very sure that you can prove that you will have the funds for your entire trip. And of course, I would continue to research this with the customs office so you can make everything as easy as possible.

  7. Default

    That's a good idea about getting something to say we are going un-paid, i'll definitely look into that.

    We will have evidence of our van rental, some hotel dates, return flights and everything of that sort to show when we intend to leave the country, and we will all have a decent amount of cash aswell as credit cards with us to show we can support ourselves.

    I'm going to spend this week really checking I cover myself with regards to the customs side of my trip, so i'll keep the forum posted if I come accross anything I think would be usefull for future reference.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you plan on sleeping in the van, the only safe free place to do it (unless the promoter can make arrangements with venues) is in a large chain truck stop (such as a Flying J) at an interstate exit away from large cities. Get permission first, and they will offer showers for $10 or less. It would be considerate to give them some business (buy a tank of fuel, eat a meal in their restaurant. etc.).

  9. Default The horror that is...


    As some of you may have seen from my previous post, this summer I will be on tour accross the US with my band.

    We will be touring in a van, and after some real hunting and research, I have managed to get together a few decent quotes.

    The one thing I need to make sure of before I confirm anything though, is that I have the right insurances, as from what I know, American insurance works fairly differently to UK.

    I've recieved some quotes which have stated that I can purchase the comapanies insurance, which covers damages to the van etc.. but what would happen if I was in an accident with another vehicle? Am I just insuring myself on the vehicle i'm driving? Or am I insuring myself as a person?

    I know a common response is likely to be "Ask the company" but with time differences, it's a little difficult to relay all these questions efficiently, so I thought someone here may be able to point me in the direction of what insurance I want to be getting to completely cover myself!

    Cheers guys.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-23-2009 at 03:14 AM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create new threads to ask questions about the same trip

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default you are right

    You are correct that asking the company is going to get you the best and most accurate advice, along those same lines, you should be looking at the fine print of any insurance that you are looking to get to find out exactly what is or is not covered.

    Having said that, Here is a good primer on the basic terms you'll likely see. The biggest thing that is required in nearly all states is liability insurance, which covers the other persons car or medical payments if you were to get into a crash. The next level of insurance then covers the car that you are driving, which if you don't have insurance is something you'd probably want to protect yourself in a rental.

    If you already have car insurance in the UK, I'd check with them to see if your current policy would cover you while driving a rental in the US - but make sure they know you'll be in a large van as that could potentially create an issue. There are also some 3rd party insurance companies that you can use for a rental that you might want to look into.

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